Parking charges in Brent to increase twice this year
- Credit: Archant
Critics fear hikes will drive shoppers and visitors away from the borough
Parking charges in the borough are to be increased twice in 2013 as figures show that the department’s revenue from meters and permits has plummeted in the past year.
Brent Council will be increasing prices this month – and for a second time in April – resulting in a rise of up to 83 per cent to use a meter, while parking permits will cost up to 70 per cent more.
The increases come as figures from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) show that Brent Council suffered a 30 per cent drop in revenue collected from parking charges last year.
According to the IAM, Brent Council made £2,642,000 last year, down from £3,780,000 in the previous 12 months.
Drivers wishing to use pay and display meters in the borough face one of the biggest hikes, with the cost of parking for 20 minutes rising from 60p to £1.10.
Under the new charges for parking permits, residents who own cars with relatively low emissions face some of the steepest price increases and households with two cars in the two lowest categories of emissions could pay up to £57 extra.
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Last year, the council was accused of driving shoppers away after they installed meters in Bridge Road, East Lane and Preston Road, all in Wembley, despite concerns from traders about the effect on their businesses.
Cll Paul Lorber, leader of the Brent Lib Dems, told the Times the hikes will not only have a detrimental effect on businesses and residents, but the council’s coffers will also suffer.
He said: “It is very damaging for local businesses and very unfair on local people that the Labour administration is hiking up parking charges by such a massive amount.
“It is time for the council to come to their senses. It’s now counterproductive to have these charges. People won’t go to the high street. Businesses will suffer and the council won’t get the parking revenue. The figures from IAM prove that.”
However, Cllr Jim Moher, Brent Council’s lead member for transport, told the Times the charges for drivers who opt to pay electronically for 20 minutes was being reduced and they have axed a £10 fee to replace a lost or stolen parking permit.
He added: “I am angered by the hypocrisy of the Lib Dems in blaming the council for modest rises when their coalition government and the London Mayor is imposing far larger charges on the travelling public.”